I lost my biggest fan (part 2)

I have come across many men who don’t like their mothers. In fact, I know of a brother who despises his mother more than varmin. His grievances lies in the fact that his mother had given birth to him when she was about 16 years old, couldn’t marry then so the man(who was much older) left & she had to marry later and have other kids with another man. Up till now, I don’t think this brother has met his real father & that probably gets to him.

Even the fact that the mother has struggled to send him to medical school cannot make him forgive her for the mistake she made in her youth, and he’s not taking care of the old woman. Issues like this abound, and in a world where mistakes upon mistakes must be made till true discovery and consciousness of the self occurs, I presume things like these will keep happening.

But let the man who still has both or one of his parents rejoice, for he won’t fully understand the blessings he has till he loses one or both. I’m in the category of those who have lost one and I must say it here that I’ve learnt to appreciate more my father (even with his many imperfections) ever since my mother died. Guys tend to be closer to their mum while girls tend to attach more with the dad, although there is no statistics backing this up as it could be vary according to home circumstances.

In my own case, I happened to feel more attachment to my mother. I grew up following her around, my father being a devoted policeman never really had time to coach me. I learnt cooking early as I was always in the kitchen with mum, not to actually learn but to just be there. In school, I was soft and almost a sissy. If not for my academic brilliance, I could have passed for a dumb fool. I’m not saying girls are fools, but for a boy like me to act girlish, be chubby, “look dull & move sluggishly” like my headmaster always said, could easily pass for dumbness.

Whenever I look back I always wish those days could come back so I can be my mum’s little boy once again. Those were the best years of my life, she had true love in her eyes for me, the pampering, the caring. There were no worries or expectations from me whatsoever, not like now when the whole (extended) family calls just to ask when I’d go to law school & be their first lawyer. It’s a lot of pressure these days. Childhood days are the best anybody could ever have, especially with the right family and a caring mother.

Yes, mother because that’s all you actually need. Even a poor mother will do anything to see her children taken cared of but a poor dad might just not bother, men lack empathy naturally. Our emotions are dry like a sadist’s joke. Look at the brother’s story illustrated above, his mother even though illiterate and poor, knew he was her responsibility and ensured she studied medicine. In Nigeria, it’s not convenient financially to study medicine. The textbooks alone are very expensive.

My best friend in the university was also raised by a single mum after their dad left. Their mum who is a nurse and businesswoman never remarried yet they’ve all gone to college. My friend studied law. It wasn’t easy but it was done. These are the things mothers do. Another side of how lovely women are is seen when they’re widows or the man is irresponsible. When a young man’s wife dies he remarries but not the same for women, they ‘marry’ their children in such circumstances. I don’t know how men always manage to look for a new woman once they mourn their ex-wife for few weeks but the women just stay put (especially African women).

Mothers gamble on their children at times. I can’t count how many times I made mistakes & my father didn’t utter a single word of encouragement but mother kept believing even though she worried deep down. She would ask if I was sure of the decisions I wanted to take, once I was sure she’d back me. She was that lovely.

She was also great. One of my deepest regret about her demise is concerning how many information she took to the grave. She had implored me severally to write her memoir but I never recorded most of her recollections, I can only trust my memory on some stories. Who could have thought she’d die so suddenly at 55? That’s why I feel for those who don’t have a cordial relationship with their parents. You’d never know how much you miss them till their gone. When we abandon our parents because they hurt our feelings then how’re we better than them afterall?

Few days to my mum’s death, we were not even on good terms. We had a misunderstanding the previous week, I was not supposed to be around her due to how much I was pained. Yet, she died in my arms. We were holding hands while she laid in bed. Ever since, I’ve been imagining what if I held on to my usual sense of right and wrong and was angry with her till she died? What if I wasn’t with her when she breathed last and later got the news from someone? I would have lived the rest of my life in deep regret and no succour.

I still live in regret to some extent. The fact that she would not be around to see me fulfill all my dreams makes me sad. The fact that no matter how much money I go on to make I’ll never be able to spend it on her lavishly makes me sick. The fact that I’ll never be able to go on a world tour with my mother is enough bitter pill to swallow. Hence, I see no reason why anybody who has their mum or dad alive can’t forgive these folks and move on with life, whatever the mistakes they’ve made before.

I’ve realised parents are not perfect human beings just like children aren’t also perfect. And in fact, most times these parents actually try their best to understand us but the generational gap could really be an issue in communication especially when you’re more educated than them. If I have a choice of either seeing my mum again or holding on to her mistakes, I’d most definitely prefer to have her back and overlook all her shortcomings as a parent. Matter of fact, she never even really had shortcomings!

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